February 25, 2005

Catholics see red over Hub parish closures

Boston Herald

By Marie Szaniszlo
Friday, February 25, 2005

Faced with a $10 million deficit, the Archdiocese of Boston has taken in more than $3 million in assets since it decided last year to close more than a quarter of its parishes. But its reconfiguration fund still had to borrow $4.6 million to cover the cost of reconfiguration, an archdiocesan official said yesterday.

``It clearly is not our desire to use the proceeds of property sales to support the ongoing operations of the archdiocese,'' said Chancellor David Smith. ``But we provide a tremendous amount of services to parishes'' - an estimated $800,000 a month.

In his sixth monthly report to the committee overseeing the closing of more than 80 of the archdiocese's 357 parishes, Smith said the parish reconfiguration fund's expenses exceeded its revenues, leaving the fund $4.6 million in debt.

Of that amount, the fund borrowed $3.44 million from a revolving loan fund and $1.17 million from its central fund. ...

Sunday collections are up, albeit marginally over last year. And the archdiocese's annual fund-raising appeal has raised $10.8 million - far short of the roughly $18 million raised three years ago, before the archdiocese's clergy sexual-abuse scandal, but still $300,000 more than what church officials expected to raise.

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2005 06:34 AM